I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve always disliked the mindset that January 1st is the only time to make a change or start developing new habits. I know the arbitrary date marking the beginning of a week, month, or year might be a good motivator for some people, but I’ve never been one of them. So I usually steer clear.
That being said, I do like to participate in challenges/make lists/cross things off lists. Last year, my big undertaking was to complete the 52 Hike Challenge. (Spoiler alert: I did it!) But there’s another thing I’ve also been focusing on for the past year, although I haven’t documented it here: being more eco-friendly.
I was raised by frugal parents who reused and recycled and taught me to care for our planet. And I’ve always done those things, to some extent. But as I’ve taken the time to educate myself on environmental issues, I constantly learn more about the steps I can take to lower my environmental impact.
I realize this might sound somewhat hypocritical, given that Pat and I hop in the car almost every single weekend and burn a bunch of fuel driving to various trailheads. Our car gets decent gas mileage, but it’s not a hybrid or electric vehicle. We’ve also flown quite a few times in the last couple years, and we didn’t carbon offset our flights because I didn’t even know that was an option.
But the truth is, we’re not going to stop hiking and traveling and exploring anytime soon. It’s a hobby and a passion and it’s a way of relaxing and recharging, and that’s important for our health, both physical and mental.
We can (and try to) do our best to travel in more eco-friendly ways, but that can be more expensive and that’s something that, right now, isn’t necessarily in our budget. Instead, a more reasonable goal is to lower our environmental impact in all other areas of our lives. That’s what I’ve been working on, and that’s what I plan to continue in 2020.
Thanks to REI, I have some guidance this year. I’ve decided to take on their #OptToAct challenge. This year-long plan assigns one task per week that will help lower a person’s environmental impact. It technically started on December 1st so I’m coming in at week 5, but I can just go back to the beginning in December 2020 and finish out the year that way.
I’ll be documenting each week of the challenge in my instagram stories; if we haven’t already connected on instagram, I’m @handstandiana and I’d love to follow along with all of your 2020 adventures and goals as well!
~Happy New Year~
To learn more about the Opt to Act challenge, download your own copy of the calendar, and/or sign up for weekly reminders, visit the Opt to Act website.